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Why? Why not?

While we were waiting for our dinners to arrive on Saturday, jolest asked me, "So why did you start Anime Detour, anyway?" My somewhat flip answer was "Because it needed doing," to which he replied, "Yes, but that's true of a lot of things." His basic assumption seemed to be that without my organizational and leadership skills AD wouldn't have happened, so I guess what he was really asking was "Why did you start Anime Detour?" as opposed to "Why did you start Anime Detour?"

I want to make it clear that I'm not fishing for compliments or patting myself on the back here, because as Charles DeGaulle once said, "The graveyards are full of indispensable men." I firmly believe that if I hadn't been here, someone else would have stepped up to be treasurer, and then chairman. Would it have gone as well (or badly) as it did? There's no way to know. The facts of the matter are fairly straightforward: tjstriker and Jon Hughes had been beating the drum for a Twin Cities anime convention for a couple of years before the organizational meetings started happening in late 2002, and the meetings at Anime Iowa in 2002 and 2003 were very heavily attended. Somebody was going to get this thing rolling, and while my involvement was helpful it was hardly crucial.

I got involved with Detour because I was interested in anime and thought there was sufficient demand in the Twin Cities to make an anime convention successful. NoBrandCon had been going on for a couple of years in Eau Claire by the time we came along, and Anime Iowa for far longer in Cedar Rapids. Both conventions were happening in smaller markets, so simple logic told me that doing one here would work. What puzzled me at the time was why nobody had tried to get one going before, but after talking to jariten I understand the issues that kept TCAAMS and other groups from doing one a lot better than I did in 2004. To the extent that TCAAMS was going to be active in that regard, it already was: it was sponsor of Theater Nippon at Convergence, and that was about as much as it was going to do.

Was I necessary for the convention's launch and success? Some people seem to think so, but I look around at the other 17 people on the 2004 staff and see a number of people who could have taken charge had I never become involved in the project. It was Anime Detour time, and somebody was going to make it happen. Arguing otherwise requires one to believe that local fandom only has so many people willing to step up and be leaders, and while I think there's some support for that argument, I think it's more plausible to say that a leadership vacuum is going to get filled by somebody, even in the collection of socially damaged people that is local fandom.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
huladavid
Jul. 19th, 2006 02:37 am (UTC)
...even in the collection of socially damaged people that is local fandom.

Evil snorting, followed by, "So why am I the one getting brain therapy??"
wombat_socho
Jul. 19th, 2006 11:50 am (UTC)
You know, there just aren't any good answers to that question, are there?
<.< >.>
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )